wet rot frequently asked questions

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Wet rot frequently asked questions

Our experience as wet rot specialists has taught us that there is some confusion over what exactly wet rot is and how severe a problem it can be for a property. That is why we have prepared this page to help answer some of the most common wet rot questions we are typically asked by the public:

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What is wet rot?

Wet rot is actually a generic term that is used to describe a variety of different moulds and fungi that degrade and destroy timber and need a source of moisture in order to germinate and grow.

You can read more on our wet rot page.

Is wet rot dangerous?

Wet rot is actually one of the more common property problems that we are called out to deal with, however that does not mean it is not a serious concern for any property owner. If allowed to continue untreated, wet rot can seriously compromise any decorative or structural timber that it is attached to.

The good news is that it is easier to deal with than other wood rotting fungi like dry rot. Wet rot problems are usually solved by addressing the source of moisture that has created the outbreak and then treating or replacing affected timbers.

What does wet rot look like?

Wet rot fungus grows in different stages, it can be either light or dark and in its early stages will often resemble a silky spiders web. Once the fungus has taken root in the timber it will cause it to become cracked, brittle and flakey.

You can read more and see some examples at our wet rot page.

What causes wet rot?

Wet rot requires three environmental factors to grow. A source of moisture, timber for the fungus to feed on and it has to be in an environment where the temperature is below forty degrees.

Does wet rot spread?

No, wet rot is not capable of spreading across masonry or through the air like dry rot.  Wet rot remains localised to the source of moisture that it needs to grow, although it is worth pointing out that if affected areas of timber get progressively wetter, then the wet rot will expand to those areas.

If you think you have noticed rot spreading from one area of the property to another then you likely have dry rot.

How is wet rot different from dry rot?

The differences between wet rot and dry rot are not particularly easy to spot for the untrained eye, but the major difference between the two is that wet rot will stay localised to the source of moisture while dry rot can spread almost anywhere in the house.

Is wet rot dangerous to health?

Wet rot is not considered to be particularly dangerous or have any serious health effects, however it can be an indicator that your property has a damp or humid environment which can exacerbate some health problems.

How to treat wet rot?

Treating wet rot is a three part process. You first have to remove the source of moisture, then repair or replace affected timbers before finally treating the area with fungicidal treatment to effectively reduce the chances of the fungus returning.

You can read more on our wet rot treatment page.

What does wet rot smell like?

Although there is not a specific wet rot smell, it is usually accompanied by the smell of damp timber and a generally damp and musty atmosphere in the room.

Is wet rot covered by insurance?

Although most buildings and contents insurance policies do not offer protection against wet rot, here at Peter Cox we provide a unique insurance policy that protects you against both wet rot and dry rot.

You can read more about it on our wet rot insurance page.

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